Clarets win another point on the road
It was roles reversed last night; just a week after drawing level late in the day against Watford, we conceded a late equaliser at Millwall that left us with one point from a 1-1 draw.
This was a game that we should have won; we were the better side, but we didn’t take our chances, one apart scored by Ashley Barnes, and that left us vulnerable when the home side launched a late assault that won them that equaliser.
After my long day out to Luton last Saturday, I’d just about recovered for this latest trip and it was again the Supporters’ Club coach. Picked up early afternoon, it was a reasonably easy journey down until we hit the obligatory traffic problems alongside Blackheath Common but we pulled in behind the away end at The Den in good time, just as we were absorbing the team news.
If we thought it was going to be same again after the win at Luton, there was a shock for us, all of Charlie Taylor, Jack Cork, Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson and Nathan Tella were on the bench having been in the starting line up at Kenilworth Road. Vitinho and Anass Zaroury came into the starting line up as did both Ameen Al-Dakhil and Scott Twine who were both winning their league starts.
We weren’t having too much to do defensively, and when Millwall did come forward, we dealt with most things comfortably although there was a short period during the half where we got ourselves into trouble trying to play out from the back. Millwall did miss the target a couple of times when they might have done better and Arijanet Muric was forced into one routine save.
That save came close to the end of a half in which we were by far the better of the two teams but the breakthrough goal proved elusive and, as at Luton, we went in level for the break.
Nothing really changed as the second half got underway; we remained on top but this time got the goal our play had so deserved. Zaroury got down the left before playing a ball across to Twine who was on the edge of the D. Twine moved it out right to Vitinho and then got onto his ball back into the box. His attempt was blocked but fell invitingly for Barnes who made no mistake.
We’d played over seventy minutes before making a first change. Twine had gone down, immediately calling for assistance. Thankfully, it was no more than a damaged boot and he was soon back on without the orange pair. His day was over though with Guðmundsson replacing him.
Millwall weren’t offering any sort of threat and I spotted during a break in play the clock going past eighty minutes and dared to believe we were almost there. There was a flurry of changes, Millwall brought on three substitutes and we introduced both Cork and Taylor.
Suddenly, they found some impetus and won corners and throws which were hurled into our box. Now we had a battle on and with just over five minutes remaining, they got themselves a goal when Tom Bradshaw, one of their subs and last Saturday’s hat trick hero, turned the ball home.
In the end, we had to settle for a point from a game that I really believed we should have won. The immediate feeling at the final whistle was one of disappointment at the two points lost with that late goal, but, generally, there was no need to be disappointed with the performance.
When I left home for Luton last Saturday morning, if anyone had offered us four points from these two away games, I’d have snatched their hands off. So, the disappointment didn’t last too long, just one of pride again at how this team of ours had come through these two really tough games with two good results.
I thought Twine did well enough on his first league start while Al-Dakhil, getting the toughest of baptism for his first, stood out like a beacon so well did he play.
Night games so far from home means a late return. We had one motorway closure to deal with but the coach dropped me off around 3:35 a.m. It might not have been a win this time but it had been another good away day. We’ve also got another of the long trips out of the way.
The teams were;
Millwall: George Long, Dan McNamara, Charlie Cresswell, Jake Cooper, Murray Wallace, Jamie Shackleton (Ryan Leonard 72), George Saville (Romain Esse 72), George Honeyman (Scott Malone 88), Zian Flemming, Duncan Watmore (Tom Bradshaw 73), Andreas Voglsammer (Aidomo Emakhu 87). Subs not used: Bartosz Bialkowski, George Evans.
Yellow Card: Tom Bradshaw.
Burnley: Arijanet Muric, Connor Roberts, Hjalmar Ekdal, Ameen Al-Dakhil, Ian Maatsen (Charlie Taylor 83), Josh Cullen, Josh Brownhill, Vitinho (Nathan Tella 87), Scott Twine (Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson 73), Anass Zaroury (Jack Cork 83), Ashley Barnes. Subs not used: Bailey Peacock-Farrell, Michael Obafemi, Lyle Foster.
Yellow Card: Ameen Al-Dakhil.
Referee: James Linington (Newport, Isle of Wight).
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